Chapter 736 - Nightmare
“You’ll naturally know if you read more books.”
“Read books?” She tossed her head. “Ah Mo had previously shoved many medical books at me; I still haven’t been able to finish reading them. You want me to read your books on dead people? No way!” I don’t have the spare time for that!
Ji Yunshu glanced at her, feeling exasperated. Just as she turned back, she noticed two people entering the courtyard.
It was Wen Xian and Zhao Huai! The two of them simply walked inside, openly and in broad daylight.
Uncle Liang noticed them and quickly stepped out to block their way. “Who are you people? Why did nobody announce your entrance?”
Wen Xian and Zhao Huai stopped advancing, but their gazes were trained firmly on the dozen or so coffins inside.
A moment later, Ji Yunshu called out, “Uncle Liang, let them in. They’re my friends.”
Wah! “I didn’t expect that Teacher Ji made so many friends on this trip.”
Hmph! So only you guys can have friends and I should remain forever alone, right? Really!
Uncle Liang smiled warmly as he turned his body to let them pass.
The two of them stepped in. Without saying a word, they took some incense sticks, lit them, and bowed thrice before inserting them into the incense burner.
Soon after, Ji Yunshu sent Tang Si away, leaving only the three of them inside.
“Are there only these coffins left?” Wen Xian asked.
Ji Yunshu nodded. “Once the portraits of the remaining skeletons have been sketched out, the missing person will be found. We will then be close to finding out the truth.”
“I really hope that the truth will be uncovered quickly.”
“I hope so too.” Ji Yunshu fretted, “The two of you better leave quickly. If you don’t want the matter of the Imperial Duke’s Residence to be discovered, you must be very careful whenever you show your faces.”
“We know, but...” Zhao Huai paused for a moment, then spoke sternly and earnestly, “Teacher Ji, although I’m an uneducated boor who doesn’t know much about grand principles and morals, I must still remind you that it’s best... not to be too close to Prince Rong.”
Ah! Ji Yunshu understood what he was trying to imply.
Forty years ago, if the Qizhen Emperor had truly ordered the burning of the Imperial Duke’s Residence, then the Emperor would be the villain responsible for her father’s death. As his son, Jing Rong would naturally also be her enemy.
Ji Yunshu looked back and forth between the two people grimly. “So, are you here specifically to remind me of that?”
The two of them remained silent. So they admit it then.
She let out a breath and didn’t pursue the topic. “I will remember what you said, but you had better go now. This is the capital, not Yufu. At this very moment, there might be many pairs of eyes watching me. Thus, it’s best if you don’t reveal yourselves.”
That makes sense! The two of them nodded. “We’ll go first then. However, we’ll stay nearby and won’t go far.”
Thus, the two of them left, without lingering further.
Once they left, Tang Si immediately came in. She looked in the direction where the two of them had gone and asked, “Ah Ji, why did they come looking for you?”
“Nothing much.” She wasn’t willing to elaborate.
Tang Si shrugged and didn’t press her for answers.
After that, Ji Yunshu had someone open up one of the coffins and started drawing a portrait from the skeleton. The entire skeleton was laid out on the table. First, she would take the skull and turn it left and right, inspecting it carefully, then she would check the extent of deterioration on various sections of the skeleton. She was having the time of her life!
Tang Si was unafraid of the skeleton, so she sat there, looking on. However, her mouth also did not stop firing questions. “What is this?”
“What is this?”
“What about that?”
“...” Ji Yunshu’s patience had been completely worn away.
Tang Si's persistence truly could give Wei Yi a run for his money.
After the skies had turned golden with the sunset, the little apprentice from Yuhua Pavillion suddenly appeared, covered in sweat. "Shimu, Shifu asked you to go back for dinner."
Huh? Ji Yunshu's limbs froze in surprise, nearly causing her to drop the skull that she had been holding onto the ground. Shimu? She turned to look disbelievingly at Tang Si. The girl was radiating an air of smugness and satisfaction.
She merely lifted her chin and told the apprentice, “Alright, I’ll be right there.”
“When did you become Shimu?”
“The day we entered the capital! Once I entered the doors of Yuhua Pavillion, I became Shimu.”
Utterly shameless! Ji Yunshu shook her head, dismissing an urge to gossip. Tang Si finally left as well. Ah, blessed silence.
Ji Yunshu brought that skull back into the study. She found some clay and set it aside, then retrieved a writing set. Next, she started drawing an exploded-view diagram  of the skull on a clean sheet of paper.
Because the deceased had burned to death forty years ago, the bones had experienced some deterioration. If she used just the naked eye and her bare hands, it would be difficult to draw it accurately. Instead, she had to systematically sketch each section of the skull, then adjust the drawings one by one.
As she drew, one sketch quickly turned into a dozen or so component diagrams, detailing each section of the skull bones.
Perhaps due to her recent ill health, Ji Yunshu actually felt rather exhausted. After a while, she put down her brush, leaned her head against an arm, and fell asleep.
Some time later, a gust of cold wind blew inside, causing her to shiver and wrinkle her brows in discomfort. Just then, she vaguely felt like someone had wrapped her in a hug. That felt so real!
Securely cocooned in that warm embrace, her entire body relaxed with the warmth penetrating her heart. A familiar scent lingered around her nose. Is that Jing Rong? She rubbed her face against that blazing hot chest before she opened her eyes and looked up.
What came into view was instead Jing Yi’s face, with a smile that was growing wider and wider...
Ah! Ji Yunshu was utterly befuddled and shocked.
Jing Yi suddenly released her from his arms and her body plummeted straight to the floor. The phrase ‘the next Jing Yi’ echoed in her ears. Ji Yunshu felt as if she had plunged into an enormous abyss, so large that there was no end in sight.
Ah! She startled awake.
When she opened her eyes, she was still seated in her original position, her forehead damp with sweat. So that was a dream. She gasped slightly as she dabbed at the sweat, still feeling unsettled.
“Why, why would it be like this?” Ji Yunshu muttered to herself. When she had that dream back in Yufu, although it was different from this dream, there was that same phrase that echoed in her ears, ‘the next Jing Yi’. Is that hinting at something? She shook her head and glanced outside. It had actually started raining some time ago. The rain wasn’t loud, but fell in fine droplets. The autumn rains never end indeed.
A maidservant came in with a bowl of ginseng soup. When she saw Ji Yunshu’s fearful expression, she quickly put down the bowl and asked, “Teacher Ji, what’s wrong?”
She shook her head. “It’s fine.”
“Oh.” The little maid pointed at her tray. “Teacher Ji, His Highness had me prepare this ginseng soup for you. Have a drink.”
Oh? “Has His Highness come here?”
“He had arrived two hours ago but didn’t wish to disturb you, so he went into his room. He asked this servant to prepare some ginseng soup for you, and to bring it in when you awaken.”
She narrowed her eyes minutely and sighed. “Put it down first.”
“You must drink it then.”
She nodded and the maid went out.
Ji Yunshu looked at the steaming bowl of ginseng soup for a long while... Then she got up and stepped out.
 This is like those multi-layer component breakdown type of technical drawing... very modern of JYS. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploded-view_drawing